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Old 05-31-2016, 10:24 AM   #1
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Trip to Ganado

In the northeastern corner of Arizona there is a town called Ganado, 45 miles west of Window Rock, in Navajo country. Ganado has the Hubbell Trading Post, a dusty, century-plus old historical site with a gift shop and old corrals. The Ganado rodeo grounds are east of where routes 191 and 264 (Code Talkers Road) go round a traffic circle. There, once a year, the Ralph Johnson Memorial Indian Rodeo is held. It is an all Navajo event.

I towed there Memorial Day weekend. Pulled in just after lunch Saturday towing ET-19. Events get started at 7 PM. I was early, hoping to see preparations, cowboy grit, and all the other stuff a genuine rural rodeo event produces. A stranger unsure of what to expect, I was primed to be extra charming.

Parked the rig near the arena fence. The events coordinator saw me and came over to investigate. When I called the Indians cowboys I gulped mentally and hoped this wasn’t being insensitive. He said I couldn’t leave the trailer there but it would be ok parked across the lot by the Porta-pottys. He also said if I wanted I could camp overnight, free.

My plan though, was to take the trailer another 35 miles up to Chinle for the night, leaving it at Cottonwood Campground. That’s next to Canyon De Chelly. From there I would drive to Lukaschukai, to scout another Indian rodeo venue scheduled the following month. In the four corners region numerous small rodeos are held throughout summer. At these rodeos you get to roam around, you tailgate the event, you’re not funneled into the stands. Folks around here love the horse stuff. They start ‘em early. Where I grew up you just played baseball in the park; here they practice calf roping and compete in rodeos.

Cottonwood Campground is also Navajo run, costs $14 per night, has paved, level sites, dump station, clean heated rest rooms, but no hookups. Quite nice, especially if you get a spot under the cottonwood trees. No cell phone service. Drove to Lukaschukai, to check for paved roads, etc., and then made it back to Ganado by 6 PM. It was early enough to park my truck right up at the arena fence near to the participants’ entrance gate. That was convenient but turned out to be a mistake. There’s no disciplined parking here. The yard then filled up with spectators’ cars and trucks and I was surrounded and blocked. I was going nowhere until ten thirty when the show was over. It was an interesting rodeo, saw some mean bucking broncos and bulls, the place was packed, lots of families, kids running around. Think I was the only Anglo there. Everyone seemed fine with that.

When I got back to my trailer at the Cottonwood campground it was nearly midnight. Backing in, something in the trucks’ dashboard rear view camera monitor seemed wrong. Where was the chrome hitch ball? My class IV hitch receiver, 2-inch ball, and locking pin were all gone. Easy pickings at the rodeo, no doubt. Damn!

After a fitful night’s sleep there was no choice; I wasn’t towing out of Cottonwood until I got a new hitch receiver. It was Sunday morning on a holiday weekend. What to do? A WalMart Super Center would be open regardless of the day, or the hour. Drove 90 miles Sunday morning back to Gallup, the nearest big city. 2-inch ball, 2-inch drop, receiver reversed. So glad I brought my Escape vital stats folder along so I could confirm that. It cost $34.81 for replacements. Lesson learned.

Total trip miles 781, towing miles 591.
Attached Images
File Type: jpg Cottonw2.jpg (123.4 KB, 21 views)
File Type: jpg Ganad322.jpg (103.8 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Ganad335.jpg (94.8 KB, 19 views)
File Type: jpg Ganad248.jpg (121.0 KB, 19 views)
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Old 05-31-2016, 10:36 AM   #2
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Crazy! What world do we live in?
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Old 05-31-2016, 12:58 PM   #3
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To clarify, you still lost the receiver with a locking pin? Did they cut it off? I thought my locking retaining pin would discourage almost anyone!

Quote:
Originally Posted by MyronL View Post
In the northeastern corner of Arizona there is a town called Ganado, 45 miles west of Window Rock, in Navajo country. Ganado has the Hubbell Trading Post, a dusty, century-plus old historical site with a gift shop and old corrals. The Ganado rodeo grounds are east of where routes 191 and 264 (Code Talkers Road) go round a traffic circle. There, once a year, the Ralph Johnson Memorial Indian Rodeo is held. It is an all Navajo event.

I towed there Memorial Day weekend. Pulled in just after lunch Saturday towing ET-19. Events get started at 7 PM. I was early, hoping to see preparations, cowboy grit, and all the other stuff a genuine rural rodeo event produces. A stranger unsure of what to expect, I was primed to be extra charming.

Parked the rig near the arena fence. The events coordinator saw me and came over to investigate. When I called the Indians cowboys I gulped mentally and hoped this wasn’t being insensitive. He said I couldn’t leave the trailer there but it would be ok parked across the lot by the Porta-pottys. He also said if I wanted I could camp overnight, free.

My plan though, was to take the trailer another 35 miles up to Chinle for the night, leaving it at Cottonwood Campground. That’s next to Canyon De Chelly. From there I would drive to Lukaschukai, to scout another Indian rodeo venue scheduled the following month. In the four corners region numerous small rodeos are held throughout summer. At these rodeos you get to roam around, you tailgate the event, you’re not funneled into the stands. Folks around here love the horse stuff. They start ‘em early. Where I grew up you just played baseball in the park; here they practice calf roping and compete in rodeos.

Cottonwood Campground is also Navajo run, costs $14 per night, has paved, level sites, dump station, clean heated rest rooms, but no hookups. Quite nice, especially if you get a spot under the cottonwood trees. No cell phone service. Drove to Lukaschukai, to check for paved roads, etc., and then made it back to Ganado by 6 PM. It was early enough to park my truck right up at the arena fence near to the participants’ entrance gate. That was convenient but turned out to be a mistake. There’s no disciplined parking here. The yard then filled up with spectators’ cars and trucks and I was surrounded and blocked. I was going nowhere until ten thirty when the show was over. It was an interesting rodeo, saw some mean bucking broncos and bulls, the place was packed, lots of families, kids running around. Think I was the only Anglo there. Everyone seemed fine with that.

When I got back to my trailer at the Cottonwood campground it was nearly midnight. Backing in, something in the trucks’ dashboard rear view camera monitor seemed wrong. Where was the chrome hitch ball? My class IV hitch receiver, 2-inch ball, and locking pin were all gone. Easy pickings at the rodeo, no doubt. Damn!

After a fitful night’s sleep there was no choice; I wasn’t towing out of Cottonwood until I got a new hitch receiver. It was Sunday morning on a holiday weekend. What to do? A WalMart Super Center would be open regardless of the day, or the hour. Drove 90 miles Sunday morning back to Gallup, the nearest big city. 2-inch ball, 2-inch drop, receiver reversed. So glad I brought my Escape vital stats folder along so I could confirm that. It cost $34.81 for replacements. Lesson learned.

Total trip miles 781, towing miles 591.
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Old 05-31-2016, 01:15 PM   #4
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Yes, my thoughts, not too much room to get a hacksaw in, maybe Myron meant locking pin/non keyed??
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Old 05-31-2016, 01:16 PM   #5
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No, I mis-spoke. The hitch pin wasn't the locking type. My bad, I guess. Never thought about it until now but think any lock would deter only the random thief in search of an easy target. From now on I'll never leave that stinger on unless under tow.
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Old 05-31-2016, 02:36 PM   #6
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Geez Myron, I thought that I'd seen a lot of the that part of the country but you keep finding great places that I've never seen.

Sometimes I've muttered a bit about looking for the key for my locking receiver pin, the key for the coupler lock and the key for the padlock that goes on the coupler latch but I do keep them locked. A couple of times, in sort of sketchy places I've even locked my WDH bars to my safety chains.

I think the locking receiver pin is fairly robust. Cutting it would be difficult because of the location. Maybe a determined thief with a crowbar might be able to lever on it and force it open but it wouldn't be easy.

So, sorry for the loss but it is a nasty world sometimes.

Keep those travel stories coming.

Ron
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Old 05-31-2016, 03:24 PM   #7
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Not fun to get burgled anywhere.
We have our cabin in Show Low, AZ and attend the rural rodeos in that region quite a bit over the summer. Love em.
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Old 05-31-2016, 03:28 PM   #8
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Yep, It's a big country, Ron, Greg.
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Old 05-31-2016, 03:39 PM   #9
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Gorgeous. I've always thought many of the ranges from there over to Gallup resemble some of the Red Rock vistas of Sedona.
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Old 05-31-2016, 03:47 PM   #10
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Obviously it was the ball mount (a.k.a. "stinger") which was gone, not the receiver. For a moment I had a mental image of some guy under the vehicle with wrenches... seemed pretty extreme!

It's a good think that was hundreds of dollars worth of weight-distributing hitch hardware... or a fancy stainless or aluminum adjustable-height ball mount.

Great story, Myron.
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